Do you know anyone with chronic pain? Chronic Pain Syndrome is a common problem that is a major challenge to health-care providers because of its complex nature of poor etiology and poor response to therapy. Most consider ongoing pain of unknown cause that lasts from 3 to 6 months duration as diagnostic. A person may have two or more co-existing pain conditions or wide spread generalized pain.
Approximately 35% of Americans have some element of chronic pain, and approximately 50 million Americans are partially or totally disabled due to some type of chronic pain. Major effects on the patient’s life are depressed mood, fatigue, excessive use of drugs, dependent behavior, and disability.
Recently, researchers in Iran led by Dr. Mahnaz Abbasi studied 62 adult patients with chronic pain and treated them with 50,000 IU/week of vitamin D3 and 1,000 mg of calcium/day for 12 weeks. There was no placebo group.
Mahnaz Abbasi, Sima Hashemipour, Fatemeh Hajmanuchehri, Amir Mohammad Kazemifar. Is vitamin D deficiency associated with nonspecific musculoskeletal pain? Global Journal of Health Science, Vol 5, No 1 (2013).
At baseline, they found that 95% of the patients had levels less than 20 ng/ml. Then they found that 53 of the 62 patients (85.5%) with vitamin D deficiency responded to the proposed treatment and their pain scores diminished more than 60%. In 47 (75.8%) patients, the pain subsided completely. That is right: in three-fourths of the vitamin D deficient patients, the vitamin D “cured” their chronic pain.
Last year, Kate Saley of the Vitamin D Council has written about this issue:
- RCT: Vitamin D improves musculoskeletal pain in non-Western immigrants. Posted on November 15, 2012 by Kate Saley
- Study: Vitamin D improves pain, sleep, and quality of life in chronic pain patients. Posted on June 30, 2012 by Kate Saley
I wrote about the pain of untreated vitamin D deficiency, which may be adult rickets in some instances, many years ago back in 2003:
It is easy to get discouraged with all those millions of people suffering and on narcotics. However, we will keep alerting people to the epidemic of vitamin D deficiency and the chronic pain that deficiency may cause.